Flash your wristband and pass through the barricades. You’re on Taylor McAdams’ turf now. McAdams has volunteered for Raleigh’s Hopscotch Music Festival since its inception in 2010. For the past four years, he’s been responsible for overseeing the three-day event’s main stage in City Plaza on Fayetteville Street.
The months and weeks leading up to the annual lineup of bands, when organizers scramble to prepare the event, are quiet for McAdams. His job doesn’t begin until the stage is assembled. Only then does his real work begin. “I have no experience doing this,” he explains. “My background is really just in backbreaking work and having a hard work ethic.”
With a small crew of hand-picked volunteers, Taylor prepares the main stage for the handful of bands who will perform upon it, as well as for the headliner act which, in years past, has included the likes of Public Enemy, The Breeders and The Flaming Lips. The Hopscotch crew make sure instruments and equipment arrive, stock the backstage and juggle the myriad surprises that come with a production of this size. Yet, the main stage is only the nexus for the volunteers’ wider duty of overseeing the entire blocked off area. For three days McAdams and crew constantly rush to assist vendors and schedule deliveries. No one works fewer than 16-hour days at Hopscotch.
“We never see the shows,” Taylor admits. “But that’s my favorite part. Being behind the scenes. Seeing a job done right and coming off without a hitch.”
More than 5,000 people will crowd City Plaza during this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival. They’ll sing and scream and never notice that, thanks to Taylor McAdams and his crew, the show came off without a hitch.